Reviews
The Astro-Zombies (1969) 1 brain
(USA)

Alternate Titles:

The Space Vampires
Space Zombies


How do such bad movies manage not to fade into oblivion? Is it that there are so few zombie movies, and so every one is something to be cherished? I don't know. At any rate, Astro-Zombies was a cheap piece of junk that saved itself from an even worse rating by wringing a few unintentional laughs from me. When the first "zombie" appeared (and I use that term more loosely than usual), I at first wondered, Why is that man in the mask hiding in the corner? Looking pretty much like a person wearing a mask of an alien of some kind, and for that matter really being more of an organic robot than a zombie, this was one of the most laughable undead that I have ever seen.

After the beginning scene showing the zombie and his first random victim, the movie continues with a confusing scene showing toy robots and tanks moving around, with a soundtrack of gunfire and exploding shells in the background. I wasn't sure if this was supposed to be some metaphor or if I was actually supposed to believe that these were real robots and tanks in some kind of futuristic battle. It typified the production values of the movie.

The movie is brutally slow. John Carradine, playing the mad scientist who is creating the zombies, takes great pains to explain to his idiot assistant (and the audience) exactly what he is doing, which is mostly to fiddle with fake electronics. Once in a while we cut from the scientist to either a group of idiot cops on the trail of a mysterious serial killer (the zombie) or a group of flamboyant spies who want to use the secret of the zombies to create an army of supermen. Once in a while the boredom is relieved by the zombie (and I say "the" because there is only one for most of the movie) attacking another female victim, revealing the sexploitative character of the movie by an obligatory ripping of clothing.

The terrible acting and trick-or-treat costumes sometimes conspired to make me laugh, but most of the time I was dozing off and having to rewind over the parts I had missed. This should only be rented if you want a movie to revile.